CBI claims green transition could unlock £57bn by 2030

A new report from the Confederation of British Industry outlines how the UK can unlock up to £57bn of growth by 2030 through green investment.

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Going for Green: The UK’s net zero growth opportunity, highlights 27 ‘green growth prizes’ across seven key areas: electric vehicles, low carbon power, heating and insulation, green services, hydrogen, carbon capture and storage (CCUS), and biofuels. Across these areas, the CBI calculated that a combination of cost savings, export opportunities and inward investment could deliver an economic boost of £37-57bn by 2030, equivalent to between 1.6 per cent and 2.4 per cent of GDP.

According to the CBI, a clear and stable policy environment is critical for encouraging the green investment required. It calls for major policy decisions to stimulate green markets, with definitive action on things like CCUS clusters and the phase-out of gas boilers. The report also recommends a compulsory net zero test for all government policy and urges all political parties to put net zero at the heart of their manifestos.

“If we needed any further proof that green growth really is the ‘economic opportunity of the 21st century’ then a potential £57bn boost to the economy provides just that,” said Rain Newton-Smith, CBI director general. “Not only does it offer hope for lifting the current economic gloom, but it can deliver a path to sustained growth for years to come – all while providing vital protection to our environment, improved energy security and increased prosperity across the country.

“With a pivotal general election fast approaching, all parties should be on red alert for green growth and put it at the very heart of their manifestos.”

The report also notes the green investment being taken in other parts of the world, particularly the US Inflation Reduction Act and the EU Net Zero Industry Act. According to the CBI, the UK risks being left behind in the energy transition unless action is taken to boost the green economy.

“The UK has always been an undisputed leader in the transition to net zero, allowing it to go further and faster than many other nations,” Newton-Smith continued. “It was the first major economy to sign net zero into law, has a strong track record on emissions reductions, and has a business community that not only backs the transition but is ready to seize the commercial opportunities available.

“But, in the wake of the US Inflation Reduction Act and similar moves in the EU, that position is now under threat. With competition for green investment heating up across the globe, the UK faces a race against time to claim the generous growth prizes on offer. That’s why we need decisive action – from government and business – to reclaim our place at the front of the queue.

“Given the tough fiscal environment, we may not be able to outspend the competition when it comes to attracting green investment, but I’m convinced we can outsmart it.”